Anthony Boone leads Duke past Troy, 34-17
TROY, Ala. (AP) The Duke Blue Devils didn't get going until they found themselves in a surprising hole.
Anthony Boone passed for 268 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead Duke to a come-from-behind 34-17 victory over Troy on Saturday night.
The Blue Devils (2-0) trailed 14-3 in the second quarter before Boone sparked the comeback for the 19-point favorites with a 30-yard TD run.
''I think our team maybe didn't understand, although we tried to tell them what it meant to come in here,'' Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. ''I don't think they understood it. I think not only did we come back from being down, we had to come back from being shocked.''
Boone led the way. He was 27-of-41 passing and gained 47 yards on nine carries. It's the second time Boone has had a pair of TD runs in a game, having also done it against Wake Forest in 2011.
Brandon Silvers completed 19 of 27 passes for 160 yards for Troy (0-2). Silvers also scored on an early 2-yard run one play set up by his 31-yard pass to B.J. Chitty.
The Blue Devils had started last season's eight-game win streak with a 38-31 victory over the Trojans in a game that wasn't decided until the final play. They've won 10 of 12 games since then.
This time Boone & Co. didn't let it get to that point. It's the first time Duke has started 2-0 in back to back seasons since 1987 and 1988. It was also the Blue Devils' eighth straight nonconference win, matching the program's best streak set from 1931-33.
Duke outgained Troy 452-396 in total yards.
The Trojans jumped ahead by 11 points on Jordan Chunn's 1-yard run to start the second quarter but couldn't cash in with touchdowns on several promising drives after that.
Boone and Duke scored 21 points in a 7:18 span for a 24-14 halftime lead. Troy only managed a field goal after that.
''A year ago these guys had 500-something yards (against Duke), and they didn't do much the second half,'' Cutcliffe said.
Boone, who had thrown for four touchdowns in the opener against Elon, got the Blue Devils going with his long touchdown run. He started right after faking a handoff, then sprinted back across the field for the 30-yarder.
''We threw a couple of quick screens out to the receiver,'' Boone said. ''I pulled it and I was going to throw a quick screen. I saw everybody take off, so I saw there was nobody there. The safety, the linebacker and the corner were all playing the receiver, and there was nobody in the middle.
''So I just ran straight. I'm not the fastest guy and I saw my receiver to the left and he kind of had him leveraged, so I just cut off of him and made a race for the pylon.''
Then the Blue Devils stuffed Troy on fourth and 1 from its 41 midway through the second quarter to set up another score, but Jonathan Jones stopped Chunn for a loss. Backup quarterback Thomas Sirk capitalized. He ran up the middle for a 5-yard gain then hit David Reeves for the TD on a 2-yard jump pass after first heading toward the line again.
''I made a bad decision to go for it,'' Troy coach Larry Blakeney said. ''If I could have envisioned that free safety running straight ahead and hitting our running back straight in the hole, I wouldn't have gone for it.''
Boone's 49-yard pass to Isaac Blakeney capped the scoring spurt.
The Trojans drove to Duke's 22 late in the half but DeVon Edwards punched the ball loose from Chunn on another fourth-down play.
They drove across midfield again to start the second half before Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo sacked Silvers twice.
Blakeney finished with five catches for a career-high 90 yards for the Blue Devils.